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Study finds circumcision may lessen AIDS risk

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January 31, 2000
Web posted at: 3:11 p.m. EST (2011 GMT)

SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) -- Circumcision may somehow protect men from sexual transmission of the AIDS virus, researchers say, but they acknowledge they do not have a clue why.

A study in Uganda aimed at examining how couples infect one another found two things seemed to protect people -- being older and being circumcised.

"Acquisition of HIV did not occur in any of the circumcised men," Dr. Thomas Quinn of Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, who led the study, said Sunday during the seventh Conference on Retroviruses and Opportunistic Infections, a meeting of AIDS researchers.

Quinn said he was at a loss to explain why circumcision might affect a man's risk of being infected by a woman.

He noted that in his team's study, only Muslims were circumcised. He said there might be some cultural differences in the timing or frequency of sex, or perhaps being circumcised might go hand in hand with other practices that would somehow protect a man from infection.

Copyright 2000 Reuters Limited. All rights reserved.



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